Finding a way to generate income while you’re on the road is the best way to fund your travels.
Saving a lump sum is fine, but earning on on the move can give you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want to without the fear of running out of cash.
There are tons of ways to earn while you travel, but essentially, they all break down into four categories.
1: You Can Get A Remote Job
If you’re happy working for someone else, then you could get a job that allows remote working. This option is usually pretty similar to working a normal job. You work a certain number of hours, most likely on set days and times, and you get paid a regular monthly wage.
Pros: Stability, structure and routine. You’re guaranteed a set amount of money each month and you can plan around a set schedule.
Cons: Lack of freedom, long hours, capped income. You’re still at the mercy of someone else’s agenda, you can’t pick and choose when you work. There is a risk of redundancy, which could leave you with no income at all. You can only earn the amount of your salary.
Examples: Project management, graphic designer, video editor, website builder, digital marketer, language teacher, tutor, consulting, customer support, data entry, virtual assistant, social media management.
2: You Can Freelance
With freelance work, you’re still doing a “job”, but you’re working for your own clients instead of someone else. It’s great if you’re not keen on running a whole business but want the freedom to control your own income and schedule.
Pros: Flexible hours, regular income, more stability, flexible income. You choose when you work and you choose who you work for. Your income isn’t reliant on one person, so if you lose one client you’re still making money. With the right clients, you can have a guaranteed income each month. You choose how much you work, so if you want to earn more you can!
Cons: Finding clients, managing your own time and you’re still exchanging time for money. Finding clients can be tricky if you don’t know how. You’ve no boss, so you have to be able to self motivate and manage a schedule yourself. You still have to put the time in to make the money.
Examples: Content writer, copywriter, proof reader, virtual assistant, designer, video editor, coder, web developer, app developer, social media manager.
3: You Can Set Up A Remote Business
Running a business remotely can give you a good income and a lot of freedom. Every business is different, but if you set it up with the right systems and processes then you can have a stable income with the freedom to work when and wherever you want.
Pros: Uncapped income, freedom and flexible hours. With a remote business, there’s no limit on how much you can earn. Want to earn more then grow! You’re the boss, so you choose your hours and you choose which direction to take the business in. You’re not the one doing the work, you have staff for that, so you’re no longer exchanging time for money. You’re building an asset that you could sell in the future.
Cons: Running a business isn’t easy. You’ll have to put a lot of work in to get it off the ground. It’s high stress, you’re responsible for everything. If you don’t know how to market, sell and set up good systems then your business could flop and you’ll be left with no income.
Examples: Most businesses can be made “remote ready” if you know how, but examples I’ve seen include wedding services, property management, corporate training, marketing companies, beauty salons and business services.
4: You Can Find Work In The Countries You’re Visiting
I’ve included this, as it is an option, but it’s not one I’d recommend. You can find “normal” jobs abroad, such as waiting tables, bar work or fruit picking.
Pros: You meet local people, make friends and get a regular wage. Getting a “real” job in a foreign country can be a great way to integrate into the culture. You’ll get to know people and make friends with your colleagues. You’ll have the same regular income as having a job at home so you’re pretty much guaranteed money each week.
Cons: Visas. You can’t just work anywhere, you may need a working visa which can be complicated and expensive to get. You’re taking work away from the locals who may need it more than you do. The wage is probably low, so you’ll have to work a lot to earn enough to survive. You’re still tied to set hours, so you might not have the time to spend enjoying your travels! Finally, you’ll need to find childcare, which can be expensive and tricky when you’re abroad.
Examples: Bar work, waiting tables, fruit picking, teaching a language, nannying, pet sitting, cleaning.
So as you can see, each option has its ups and downs.
You’ll have to decide what’s most important for you. Would you like the structure of a remote job? The flexibility of freelancing? Or the income potential of a remote business?
For our family, we chose a combination.
I work as a freelance writer. I have regular clients who pay me to create blogs, emails and other content every month.
I run courses and masterclasses teaching people how to write and showing them how to build their own freelance business.
We also have a “bricks and mortar” business on the ground in the UK. We provide DJs to high-end weddings and have set this business up to be run remotely, even when we’re on the other side of the world.
So what will you do? Share your ideas in the comments!
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